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Chinese Lanterns

Chinese Lanterns Activity

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Gung Hay Fat Choy!

During Chinese New Year festivities, you see lanterns everywhere. The lanterns symbolically represent the wish for good fortune in the coming year. This year, your child can make her very own red and gold lanterns to display at home. In Chinese culture, red often symbolizes happiness and gold usually symbolizes wealth.

What You Need:

  • Old newspaper
  • Red paper cup (or red tempera to paint the cups red)
  • Gold paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue 
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Red embroidery floss

What You Do:

  1. Cover your work space with some old newspaper to make clean up as simple as possible.
  2. Have your child use the paintbrush to apply a thin coat of gold paint to the inside of the red paper cup. Allow the paint about an hour to dry completely. If you're painting the cup red first, let the red paint dry for about an hour and a half before applying gold paint on top of it.
  3. Take over duties and use the ruler to measure about an inch down from the top of your cup. Mark the spot with a pencil on the front and the back. Use the scissors to carefully cut off the top rim of the cup at the one inch spot, keeping it in its circular shape.
  4. Still handling duties, cut down through the sides of cup to create about 10 half-inch slits. Bend the cut strips outward to create a lantern effect. Replace the top piece over the strips. Secure each of the strips in place with glue. Press the pieces together firmly and allow enough time for the glue to dry.
  5. Have your child cut 12 pieces of the red embroidery floss in approximately 3-inch lengths. Create a tassel by tying a simple knot to secure the pieces together. Glue the tassel to the bottom of the lantern.
  6. Then, she should cut 3 pieces of the red embroidery floss in lengths of about 10 inches. Tie a knot to the top of the strands and braid the lengths together. Secure the braids with another knot. Tape the braided floss on opposing ends of the inside of the top of your lantern to make a handle.

Have your child pick out somewhere special to hang her little lantern during Chinese New Year.

Updated on Jul 16, 2014
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See more activities in: Preschool, Chinese New Year
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